Meet the unshakable ALMA SPRECKELS. Who is Alma? A woman who sues a former lover for “wrongful deflowerment.” A woman who defies Victorian mores to work as a nude model in order support her lazy, supposedly-aristocratic father. A woman who bullies her way into marriage with a much-older sugar magnate with a checkered past. A woman who forges friendships with artists such as Auguste Rodin and Jack London while being snubbed by high-society elites. The story of this vivacious and taboo-breaking woman mirrors the rise and triumph of America’s favorite city, San Francisco.
Alma, Unshakable is the fictional account of the life of Alma de Bretteville Spreckels, the woman often called “the Great-Grandmother of San Francisco.” Alma has the wit and sass of Scarlett O’Hara, the ambition and cunning of Lily Bart, and the courage and spunk of Jo March. Alma, Unshakable traces this unconventional, sensual, and driven woman from her hardscrabble beginnings living in a crowded flat over a laundry through to her position as one of San Francisco’s most influential and memorable society figures. Through the story of Alma’s life, the reader sees the same trajectory evident in the development of San Francisco: a rough beginning, a disdain for the mainstream, an unwillingness to be brought down by obstacles, a quirky and undeniable elegance.
From the alleys of the Barbary Coast to the grand ballrooms of Nob Hill mansions, from the drama of the 1906 earthquake to the pageantry of the 1915 World’s Fair, from Chinatown speakeasies to Parisian salons, from war-torn Europe to the American home front, Alma’s gumption and beauty carry her through difficult times and heady success. She strives to become accepted by San Francisco society, but refuses to compromise her essential self along the way.
Megan Anderegg Malone a writer and teacher based in Sonoma County, California. Megan was educated at Kenyon College, the University of Iowa Writers' Workshop, and the Bennington Writing Seminars. She was selected by Louise Erdrich as winner of the 2010 Kenyon Review Short Fiction Contest, and has studied with Marilynne Robinson, Lynne Sharon Schwartz, Bret Anthony Johnston, Tayari Jones, and others. This is Megan's first novel. She blogs at www.lumamama.com.
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